Community Standards

Acceptable Use of Information Technology Resources

General Statement

(Updated July 26, 2017)

As a part of the physical and social learning infrastructure, Union College acquires, develops, and maintains computers, computer systems and networks, telecommunications systems and equipment, fax machines, electronic mail (email), Internet access, removable media, servers, storage devices, handheld devices and other electronic equipment or media (“IT Resources”). These IT Resources are intended for College-related purposes, including direct and indirect support of the College's instruction, research, and service missions; of College administrative functions; of student and campus life activities; and of the free exchange of ideas among members of the College community and between the College community and the wider local, national, and world communities.

In general, all computers, the data stored on them, email messages, facsimiles, voicemail and other communications created by and/or stored on the College’s IT Resources are the property of the College, which allows the College to access its IT Resources to locate business information, maintain the system and network, comply with legal requirements, and administer this and other College policy. Accordingly, your use of the College’s IT Resources is subject to the privacy limitations set forth below (see Security and Privacy). There are some exceptions to this general rule, including but not limited to materials covered by the College’s Intellectual Property policy, located in the Faculty Manual, and materials that are specifically licensed and not owned by the College. In the absence of a specific exception covering the equipment you are using or the data you are accessing, storing, or creating on College-owned equipment, the general rule set forth above applies.

The rights of academic freedom and freedom of expression apply to the use of College computing resources. So, too, however, do the responsibilities and limitations associated with those rights. The use of College IT Resources, like the use of any other College-provided resource and like any other College-related activity, is subject to the normal requirements of legal and ethical behavior within the Union College community. Thus, legitimate use of the College’s IT Resources does not extend to whatever is technically possible. Although some limitations are built into computer operating systems and networks, those limitations are not the sole restrictions on what is permissible. Users must abide by all applicable restrictions, whether or not they are built into the operating system or network and whether or not they can be circumvented by technical means.

Peer to Peer File-Sharing Policy

The Higher Education Opportunity Act 2008 (Public Law 110-315) requires institutions to take steps to combat the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials through illegal downloading or peer-to-peer distribution of intellectual property. The Union College Policy on the Use of Peer-to-Peer (P2P) File Sharing Programs can be found here.